Widford VillageCome along and meet some new friends
In 1978 Widford Parish Council purchased land by footpath 18 (accessed from Benningfield Road) and created allotment gardens. Over time, some fell into disuse but in July 2008, with the assistance of community service workers, the area was cleared, water was laid on and 22 plots were let. A small orchard has been planted and further plots are available.
Widford is the proud possessor of a Grade II* listed 13th century Church, St. John the Baptist. Link to Church Website
Widford is home to one of the few privately owned Cricket grounds in the country; a picturesque haven of delight in the centre of the village near the playing field. Owned by the Pawle family, it is now home to the Ware Cricket Club.
The main industry in Widford is arable farming although the land by the river is used for summer beef cattle grazing. The area is popular with local shoots that maintain areas of woodland and ponds for this purpose. Within the village there are many lovely gardens and other managed areas at the school, church, allotments and playing fields. This all forms part of a rich variety of habitats, which support a great abundance of living things.
Footpaths and Bridleways
There are over eight miles of maintained footpaths and bridleways in the Parish that are used and enjoyed by local residents together with walkers and riders from further afield. The Parish Council has placed benches in strategic positions so walkers can rest and enjoy our lovely countryside. Widford Walks Map
Friends of Widford Church
The Friends of Widford Church is an independent and non-religious charity whose purpose is to support the Parochial Church Council in caring for the fabric of the church.
There are some 220 dwellings in the Parish of Widford, 54 of which are listed by the Department of the Environment as having architectural or historic merit. There are eleven other listed buildings in the village, including the church, the school and some barns.
Widford is situated in East Hertfordshire between Ware and Much Hadham. It lies above the Ash Valley, one of the most beautiful rural areas in East Herts. Parts of Widford fall within a Conservation Area, which has the effect of preserving the rural environment and ensuring that any development is not detrimental. History of Widford
John Eliot (1604-1690) the “Apostle to the Red Indians in North America,” was born in Widford. The village also influenced writer Charles Lamb whose grandmother Mary Field is buried in the churchyard.
After the Second World War, Widford was the home of Arthur Ernest Percival who was a British Army Officer most noted for his involvement in World War II, when he commanded the forces of the British Commonwealth during the Battle of Malaya and the subsequent Battle of Singapore.
In 1979, a team of volunteers from the Village Hall Committee worked together to raise the funds to purchase Askell’s Field, which we now know as Widford Playing Field. A new Charity was set up; children’s play equipment, a cricket strip and a football pitch were installed and trees/hedges were planted. Since then the field has continued to be managed by a committee of volunteers, maintaining and improving facilities.
At one time there were five public houses in Widford however now there is now just one. In 2004 The Bell was converted into a private house with seven other properties on the land. The Green Man our last remaining pub has recently also had to close and is awaiting refurbishment. We hope it will reopen again soon.
Widford has a disused railway station (open from July 1873 until November 1963 when the Ware to Buntingford Branch Line became the subject of Mr Beeching’s axe). It is now home to a coal and garden products distribution centre and the old railway track offers opportunities for walkers and riders. Link to History of the Railway
School and Pre-school
We have a small village JMI School with a maximum capacity of 8 children in each year group, plus pre-school facilities for children aged 2 – 4years. In 2008 OFSTED commended the School as being a good school with outstanding features. School and Pre-school Website
Our Village Hall in Bell Lane was originally built in 1910 as a drill hall for the Hertfordshire Regiment TA, and used in the 1st World War by a Staffordshire Regiment whose members were billeted in Widford. It later became a focal point for village activities but was sadly lacking in amenities. In 1956 a group of volunteers worked together to raise the funds to buy and modernise the building. Since then many more teams of volunteers have given their time and talents to maintain and improve the hall; the latest being a new kitchen installed in 2009. Village Hall
The Parish Council is custodian of the Widford Village Archive, containing irreplaceable photographs and documents, magazines, articles and programmes of village events donated to the village. We are currently looking for new premises to house this valuable asset but there is little or no space available within the area.